John Vanderschalie (left), Andrew Appleton (center), and Rich Alldredge (right) stretching before a little run.
Three members of the Pullman community and WSU staff have qualified to run April 21 in the Boston Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious running events and oldest annual marathons.
John VanderSchalie, immunodiagnostics section manager; Andrew Appleton, director of Global Studies; and Rich Alldredge, statistics professor, are nowhere near beginners when it comes to marathons. Alldredge has run seven different marathons since since 1974. Appleton has run six different marathons in his life, but qualified last year at Napa, where he ran 26.2 miles in less than three and half hours. This marathon earned him access to the Boston Marathon. Vanderschalie had a qualifying time of three hours and 48 minutes at the Tri Cities marathon in Richland at an age of 62 years old.
“I have run seven marathons so far, and eight will be enough,” Alldredge said, while the group laughed. The Boston Marathon will be lucky number seven for Appleton, who started running races three years ago. He said his roommate in college got him to run the New York Marathon back in 1980 and after that he knew he never wanted to run again.
Vanderschalie said the Boston Marathon is the only one nationally that has qualifying times. He said they did this to limit the size of the field, which currently boasts about 20,000 participants. It is smaller than the New York Marathon, which normally has about 38,000 runners.
Vanderschalie said “The Boston Marathon has relatively tough qualifying standards, and many of my running friends can’t make it, it’s considered quite an accomplishment to qualify.” The times are scaled upward taking into account the gender and age-related slowing over time, which makes it fair for people of all ages.
To be eligible for the Boston Marathon, participants must run a qualifying time at a selected certified marathon. Alldredge ran the Portland marathon last October with a suitable time that gained him Boston access. Eligible times are determined by matching up the participant’s age on the date of the Boston Marathon and the qualifying time at the certified marathon.
Training is a large part of getting ready, Alldredge said, who runs three to four times a week. “This year the entire situation is in alignment with Boston… and I ran 20 miles last Sunday in under three hours,” he said with a smile on his face.
The Boston Athletic Association manages this American classic, which is sponsored by John Hancock Financial Services. The Boston Marathon has distinguished itself as the pinnacle event within the sport of road racing by virtue of its traditions, longevity and method of gaining entry into the race.
All three have been training and getting prepared for this marathon for weeks now and look forward to crossing that finish line in Boston.